HEAD coach Paul James insisted it would be “payback” time as a “hungry” Worcester Wolves side look to gain revenge over Cheshire Phoenix in the British Basketball League tonight (7.30pm).

The clash at the Cheshire Oaks Arena will be first time the two sides have met since Phoenix beat Wolves 99-88 to clinch the BBL Cup.

Almost two months may have gone by since the final at the Arena Birmingham, but Worcester’s below-par performance that day still rankles with James.

And Wolves’ players will be looking to use the defeat as fuel in a bid to overcome Cheshire.

“The last time we played them was the cup final where we didn’t play well and they did a really good job on us,” James said.

“Hopefully we will be hungry and there will be a want of a bit of payback in this game and we will go out there and perform the way we know we can.

“We were very disappointed with the way we played that day.

“Cheshire produced the game of their lives in that game and deserved the win in the end.

“We didn’t do ourselves any justice at all as too many guys weren’t on their A game and it was a struggle.

“Hopefully we have moved past that and we are now looking to build some momentum going into the play-offs.”

Cheshire would have been hoping to kick on after returning home with silverware but results have not gone their way.

They have lost their past four matches and sit in ninth position, one place outside the play-off positions. But James is expecting an “extremely tough” encounter.

“When you look at the league table now if they have two or three more losses they may not make the play-offs,” James said.

“It is backs against the wall for them now.

“They know the last time they played us they beat us so I think they will come into this game with a bit of confidence despite four in a row.

“They will give it everything they have got because they need the win just as much as we do, so it is going to be a very exciting game.”

Wolves are set to go into the match with a full-strength squad although James remains cautious over the fitness of George Beamon and Dallin Bachynski.

“George is still OK,” said James whose side travel to Manchester Giants on Sunday (5pm).

“His ankle is still a bit sore but it is about managing that after training and making sure we warm it up properly.

“George is a tough kid so he doesn’t want to sit out.

“He has been training and playing hard but we have got to make sure he doesn’t overdo it.”